It’s funny how kids’ personalities are so different even when raised in the same household. One child, for instance, can have a steel will. When reprimanded, he’ll stomp from the room and slam a door behind him for emphasis. He’ll drive his parents to their knees, leaving them begging God for wisdom and patience and self-control.
Then along comes a sibling. This one doesn’t need a verbal rebuke for wrong doing. A parent simply needs to cast a disapproving glance his way, and he crumbles. The mere thought of displeasing his folks is enough to make him walk the straight and narrow way.
Ezekiel 11:19,20 says, “I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them. And I will take away their hearts of stone and give them tender hearts instead, so they will obey my laws and regulations. Then they will truly be my people and I will be their God.”
Some people, like the steel-willed child, have hearts of stone. They’re stubborn, rebellious, and insolent. They could care less what God wants or says because they’re bent on doing life their way. In contrast, others have tender hearts. They’re sensitive to spiritual matters and eager to please the Lord. If they do wrong, they’re quick to correct their ways because they can’t bear His displeasure or grief.
In all honesty, I confess to occasionally struggling with a heart of stone, but God’s workin’ on me in that regard. Slowly, but surely, He’s tenderizing me with an ever-growing understanding of how sweet it is to walk in His ways. More and more, I’m finding freedom and joy in submitting to His laws and regulations. There’s sheer delight in knowing that I’m bringing Him pleasure rather than causing Him grief by stomping from His presence and slamming the door behind me. I’m so thankful for His patience and perseverance in my life.
How are you doing in this regard? Is your heart like stone, or is it tender and eager to obey God? I pray it’s the latter so you can experience His richest blessings.
“Father, thank You for wanting relationship with us. Thank You for caring enough about us to tell us how to live so we can enjoy the richest, deepest relationship possible. Remove our hearts of stone and exchange them for tender hearts. Give us sensitivity to Your Spirit and Your voice. Give us a desire to please you in all things. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”